Roads and bridges need significant investment, coalition says

April 21, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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A coalition of dozens of organizations, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, asked Congress to invest in the nation’s roads and bridges.

The coalition sent a letter on Wednesday, April 21, to the leaders in the House and Senate, encouraging them to support the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ recommendation to partially backfill the Highway Trust Fund from 2022 to 2026.

As part of AASHTO’s funding recommendations for an infrastructure package and surface transportation reauthorization, the organization highlights the nation’s current $756 billion backlog in highway and bridge investments.

“We urge you to support AASHTO’s request to authorize $200 billion in highway and bridge stimulus in 2022 to be obligated through 2026 and drive down this unacceptable backlog,” the coalition wrote. “We call on Congress to provide necessary funding and flexibility to states and local communities to make this critical investment in America’s roadways for all of its people.”

A need for improved roads and bridges

Earlier this year, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s infrastructure poor marks, including a D for roads and a C for bridges.

The letter pointed out that America’s transportation system was critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically mentioned truck drivers providing groceries and essential medical supplies to the areas that needed them the most.

“The events of the past year highlight the proven value of investment in America’s roadways,” the coalition wrote. “The nation’s highway system continues to be central to our broader transportation system, our safety and security, and the serves as the backbone of our entire economy.

“We recognize the need to reassess the federal infrastructure priorities and support continued investment in transit and other modes of transportation. However, it is crucial to provide states and local communities with needed funding and flexibility on how to appropriately invest in our essential roads and bridges.”

In addition to OOIDA, the coalition of about 80 organizations includes the American Highway Users Alliance, AASHTO, American Bus Association, American Concrete Pavement Association, the Transportation Intermediaries Association, and the United Motorcoach Association.

A copy of the letter and a full list of coalition organizations can be found here. LL

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.